Nurses reunite truck driver, puppy following medical emergency

Posted at 1:47 AM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 01:47:54-04

IOWA CITY, IA (KCRG/CNN) – After an Iowa truck driver suffered a medical emergency, he had to leave his puppy behind in his truck, but two nurses stepped in to help reunite him with the pet at just the right time.

Robert Pritchard was be taken to a hospital by ambulance after he suffered a medical emergency while driving his semi-truck. Inside the truck, he had to leave behind his puppy, Bandit.

"The Grundy County Sheriff’s Department came and picked him up because I had to leave him in my truck. I left the truck running, and they told me they took him to the Humane Society there at Cedar Bend,” Pritchard said.

The man says he called the shelter every day to make sure the pup was OK, but then, he says the shelter told him he had until 5:00 p.m. to pick up Bandit.

Pritchard was afraid his dog would be put down or given away to another family.

But two nurses at the University of Iowa Hospital stepped in, driving an hour and half to get Bandit.

"Because I didn't think it was really fair for someone to lose their animal just because they were in the hospital, so I wanted to do everything I could. I knew it would be really hard to lose an animal,” nurse Erin Niles said.

Owner and dog were reunited shortly thereafter.

"If it hadn't been for these two right here, I would have lost him last night,” Pritchard said.

Pritchard says the gesture meant the world to him.

"I appreciate it. Nobody has ever treated me or helped me the way these people have. The main thing is I got my buddy back,” he said.

The driver says he plans to take some time off of trucking for now to hang out with his faithful driving companion, Bandit.

The Cedar Bend Humane Society says Bandit was never in danger of being put down and that it was working with Pritchard to reunite the two.

The shelter says it only euthanizes animals in cases of suffering or extreme aggression, but pets left at the shelter need to be picked up within five days or they will be put up for adoption.

Copyright 2017 KCRG, Robert Pritchard via CNN. All rights reserved.